4th Generation 4-Tuner Tablo Total System Now Available

The latest Tablo news along with tips to maximize your free TV experience. 

How Your Location Impacts Your OTA TV Reception


As we mentioned in our Over-the-Air (OTA) TV antenna buyer’s guide, another key factor to cord cutting success is knowing the location of your local broadcast TV towers in relation to your home to determine your OTA TV reception quality. Your local TV channels are broadcast via radio waves from huge transmitter towers located in most major cities and towns across North America. The closer you live to these towers, the better your Over-the-Air TV reception will be and the more you’ll be able to enjoy your Tablo OTA DVR.

TV Tower image

Line-of-Sight & Proximity to Local Broadcast TV Towers


tablo antenna line of sight

OTA TV signals are distributed via the concept of line-of-sight. This means ideal TV reception occurs when your TV antenna is in close proximity to the local transmitter towers and can ‘see’ them with minimal or no obstructions.

As you get further away from your local TV towers, the more likely that interference, obstructions and even the curvature of the earth will impact your ability to receive OTA TV signals.

This means ideal reception areas for antenna TV are within 35 miles of your local broadcast towers.

However, depending on your antenna equipment, placement and other factors, you can still receive signals from towers further afield.

To find out how far away your local broadcast towers are from your home, head over to NoCable.org and enter your address and zip code for a detailed report.

nocable.org results

In the example above (which is an address in the Chicago suburb of Evanston, IL) you’ll see that most local channels are broadcast from towers downtown, about 12 miles away.

OTA Channel Selection in Your Location

abc cbs nbc fox channels on tablo

The selection of channels you can receive with a TV antenna depends on whether a broadcaster in your area distributes the signal for that channel.

For example, in California’s San Francisco Bay Area you could receive over 100 OTA TV stations, whereas if you live in the middle of the Nevada desert – near the famed Area 51 – you’re more likely to find an alien than an OTA TV signal.

However, in most cities you’ll be able to receive OTA TV signals from the main national broadcasters (NBC, CBS, ABC, FOX and the CW in the US and in Canada CBC, CTV, CityTV and Global.)

Those living in urban areas near the US/Canada border – like in Detroit – may be lucky enough to receive TV signals from both countries, providing a much larger channel selection.

To find out exactly what OTA TV channels are available in your area, check out our TV channel locator service.

tablo channel locatorLiked this article?

Check out these tools and posts on Over-the-Air TV antennas, OTA signals and reception next:

Related Blogs

Get the latest from Tablo.

Signup to get the latest product and over-the-air TV  news delivered right to your inbox. 

How to restart your phone/tablet

Sometimes, just restarting your smartphone or tablet can clear up issues with apps. The links below will provide detailed instructions on how to force close your Tablo app. 

Apple iPhone

Android smartphones 

Most Android smartphones and tablets can be restarted by holding the POWER button and then selecting RESTART or POWER OFF and RESTART from the POWER OPTIONS menu.

NOTE: Newer Samsung devices require you to hold the POWER/SIDE button and VOLUME DOWN to make the POWER OPTIONS menu appear. On the Google Pixel 6, hold the POWER and VOLUME UP buttons.

How to force close your Tablo app?

Sometimes, just restarting the app can fix things. The links below will provide detailed instructions on how to force close your Tablo app. 

Apple iPhone/iPad

Android smartphones/tablets 

Need help with the final steps?

Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.  Follow the steps in the video below for a full walkthrough of the remaining parts of the Tablo setup process.

Tablo Logo White

Please enter a valid address. 

We recommend entering your full address for the most accurate results. 

Sorry, no results. Please check your zip code.

Getting your channels...

You can get channels for free!
( over-the-air channels and streaming channels )

This is an estimate only. Actual broadcast TV channels received may vary based on TV antenna location, reception, topography, and other obstructions. Streaming channels require an internet connection. View the Channel Details Report for specifics of each channel and to help determine what antenna is needed. 

Reception alert:  Based upon the location you entered, you may not get many of the major networks.  As a result, Tablo may not be the best fit for you.  Please enter your full address above for best accuracy. 

Major Local Broadcast Channels

Major networks you know that have live sports, major events, local news and more. 

Entertainment and Lifestyle Channels

Sports Channels

News Channels

Movie Channels

Family and Kid Channels

En Español

Additional TV Broadcast Networks

Internet Streaming TV Channels

Internet-based free streaming channels .